Saturday, June 14, 2008

The JackOff Scandal - It ain't over yet.

Former Rep. Istook’s earmarks lead to tangled trail in Abramoff probe

By Susan Crabtree The Hill

Posted: 06/03/08 07:33 PM [ET]

Former Rep. Ernie Istook (R-Okla.) secured several earmarks that appear to match pet projects cited in criminal documents filed against his top aide. These few targeted measures may hold the keys to where the widespread investigation into convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s corrupt practice is headed next.

Ever since the FBI’s raid on Rep. John Doolittle’s (R-Calif.) home last year, Republicans have worried that Doolittle would be the next lawmaker to be indicted in the wide-ranging Abramoff scandal, so much so that they urged him to retire at the end of the session, and he reluctantly agreed.

In the court filings against Istook's chief of staff, John Albaugh, is accused of requesting and taking freebies to concerts and sporting events from an Abramoff associate at the firm Greenberg Traurig referred to as “Lobbyist C.”

That lobbyist is Kevin Ring, Doolittle’s former legislative director who invoked the Fifth Amendment in Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) Indian Affairs Committee investigation in 2005, according to a lawyer familiar with the investigation. Ring resigned from Greenberg Traurig the same day the FBI raided Doolittle’s home in April 2007.

It seems like the JackOff has some more damage to do to the RepubliCon party before it's all said and done, and there's some more skeletons in the GOoP's closet still waiting to see the light of day. For one thing, there is a new guilty plea on the books in the Abramoff mess, from former Oklahoma Rep. Ernie Istook's chief of staff, Jon Albaugh.

There have also been a bunch of documents released detailing Abramoff's close connections to the White House.

We may not have seen the end of this whole ugly episode yet, and as the campaign heats up, it appears Abramoff will continue to sing like a canary. Abramoff is already in jail on charges that were brought up in Florida, but he remains as-of-yet unsentenced in charges that were brought up in DC. That's gonna change in early September, and no doubt the JackOff will tattling his little ass off in an effort to
plea down the charges against him in THAT case.

It's about to get even more interesting.

Note also that John McCain is on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and that it was defrauding Indian tribes that got Abramoff in trouble in the first place. McCain has pledged that he will get to the bottom of this, but predictably, as it is almost exclusively Republicans who are in the cross-hairs of the DOJ with regards to Abramoff's testimony, More-of-the-same McCain hasn't, in actuality, done a god-damned thing.

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